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The Cookie Diaries

The inside scoop on the Girl Scout cookies that will hit the streets this week - and a taste of what's in store (and door to door) this year.

If you’ve managed to keep your “healthy eating/fitness/diet” resolution to this point, I’m predicting a major upheaval in your new year plans this week. In fact, I’ll go all Mayan on you and give you an actual date when your resolve will be tempted—Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013.

Yep, this Thursday is when cute little girls with wagons full of cookies hit the street—and eating plans go out the window. On Thursday, the Girl Scouts in our area officially kick off this year’s cookie sale.

And before you start moaning about how you’ll be giving in to the lure of Caramel Delights or Thin Mints before the week is through, consider this: I have had eight and a half cases of those tempting little buggers in my house since Friday, when we picked them up following Libby’s troop meeting. Yes, you heard me right—I have had 104 boxes of Girl Scout cookies in my home since Friday, and we haven’t opened (or sold) a single box. If you don’t think Girl Scouts build character, I challenge to spend a weekend with an unguarded mountain of Tagalongs and peanut-butter sandwich cookies.

By the way—for those of you who are actually doing the math, eight and a half cases do not add up to 104 boxes. There are twelve boxes of cookies to a case, so my eight and a half cases equal 102 boxes of cookies. I have a good mix of Thanks-A-Lots (chocolate dipped), Trefoils (shortbread) and all the usual suspects, with a heavy supply of extra Thin Mints, which are not only the hottest seller here in WD, but the most popular Girl Scout cookie nationally, accounting for 25 percent of all cookies purchased during the sale.

So why the two-box difference? Well, this year the Girl Scouts rolled out a new cookie, which is being sold under the pretentious (and wordy) name of Mango Cremes with NutriFusion. According to the official Girl Scout cookie web site, these are “crunchy vanilla and coconut cookies with a mango-flavored crème filling.” Okay, sounds good so far, right? But the girls in our troop—well, more specifically, the moms of the girls—were a bit more inquisitive about that lofty name. To be specific: we wanted to know what “NutriFusion” is, exactly. After all, we’ll be going door to door (or cubicle to cubicle) trying to hawk these goodies. We were pretty sure the question would come up.

So while the girls were working on their Bronze Award project, we moms started doing research on the latest Girl Scout cookie. And after doing a couple of Google searches on our smartphones, we came up with this—NutriFusion is an all-natural, nutritional additive made from fruit. According to the website, the newest addition to the cookie line up provides the nutrient benefits of eating strawberries, pomegranates, oranges, cranberries and grapes, and were made in response to America’s demand for a “better for you” Girl Scout cookie.

Well, that all sounds great, but the investigative reporter in me was puzzled. I’m all for cranberries, grapes and the like, but shouldn’t one of the ingredients of a cookie called Mango Cremes with NutriFusion be, well, mangoes? So I went back to the official site, which includes the packaging information about each cookie. And what do you know? Mangoes are not on the ingredient list for the mango crème cookie. More surprisingly to me, however, was what WAS on the list—shitake mushrooms. Heck , if you can sneak kids their veggies by feeding them Girl Scout cookies, I’m all for it.

So that explains the two extra packages of cookies now in my living room. I figured at least two of my health-conscious neighbors will want to try the new, healthier option. (After all, we have a tendency to want what’s new, even if it is fused with mushrooms and stuff.) For the rest of you, Libby and the rest of the area Girl Scouts will be coming door to door and showing up outside your favorite local haunts, selling the Thin Mints, Caramel Delights and Peanut Butter Patties you crave all year long.

But not before Thursday. Start counting the hours!

(Editor's note: An earlier version of this column contained an incorrect date for the start of the sale of Girl Scout cookies this year.)

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